Today, the Cubs have been eliminated from being able to win the Central division outright in 2021. This is a good day.
Thirty-one games ago, I started this By The Numbers series to chronicle the final stage of the season and track the pennant race through August and September.
But a pennant race never materialized. There are twenty-one games left in the regular season and the Brewers hold a twelve game lead over the Reds. The Reds, even with an extremely easy schedule, haven't mounted a challenge and the Brewers just keep winning. Over the last ten games the Reds are 3 - 7 and the Brewers are 7 - 3.
The Brewers have a .610 win percentage. If they keep this up they will end the season with 99 wins - the most wins ever by a Milwaukee Brewers baseball team. Even if the Brewers finish the season with an 11 - 10 record they will have 97 wins.
If the Reds win all of their remaining 21 games than they will end the season with 95 wins. The Brewers could go 9 - 12 and still end up in a tie with the Reds in that situation. The Reds show no signs of winning the rest of their games. If the Reds win 76% of their remaining games than the Brewers only need to win 4 more games out of 21 to end in a tie. The Reds show no signs of winning 76% of their remaining games.
The Brewers don't have a legitimate shot at the best record in baseball anymore. They are 5 games behind the Giants in the loss column and considering the Giants are winning almost 2/3 of their games, it is unlikely that the Brewers will catch them. And it definitely isn't worth the all out effort to try to catch them.. The Giants have proven they are legit.
This all feels very weird. Is the rest of the Central division that bad? Are the Brewers that good? I'm enjoying the ride; but feel a little melancholy that we don't get a pennant race this year.
In one way the Brewers and the Cubs hold the same fate the rest of this month. Neither team will be playing meaningful, high tension games for the rest of the season. The Brewers just have a better reason and the Cubs are just losers.